Cannabis extracts are an incredibly popular alternative to traditional smoking the plant. There are plenty of ways to use extracts, and they can come in higher concentrations, appealing to those who want potency without smoking. Among the various extracts, you will find full extracts like high terpene full spectrum extracts (HTFSE). Take a closer look at what this extract is and how it is made.
Understanding High Terpene Full Spectrum Extracts
The name high terpene full spectrum extract tells you almost everything you need to know. These are full spectrum extracts with high terpene content. As a full-spectrum extract, it has concentrated cannabinoids but does not contain the waxes, lipids, and fats in the plant.
Full-spectrum extracts contrast with traditional extracts that only pulled out one cannabinoid, typically CBD or THC. It is also important to note that there are two main categories of full-spectrum extracts, HTFSE and high cannabinoid full spectrum extracts (HCFSE). Full-spectrum extraction typically results in both of those.
The extraction process results in HTFSE having a consistency similar to that of diamonds, and the result is frequently called HTFSE diamonds. These crystals or diamonds are suspended in a sauce-like or oily texture. This has led to other nicknames for the extract, such as Terp Sauce and The Sauce.
In most cases, HTFSE has a lower THCA potency than HCFSE. Even so, high-quality, high terpene full spectrum extract can have THCA concentrations as high as 50 percent.
Because the focus of high terpene full spectrum extracts is to preserve terpenes, you can usually expect a percentage of terpenes between 13 and 40 percent, higher than that of HCFSE.
Why People Prefer High Terpene Full Spectrum Extracts
The rise of high terpene full spectrum extracts and high cannabinoid full spectrum extracts comes from multiple factors, including that you do not need to reintroduce terpenes or cannabinoids after the extraction process. Additionally, they tend to have improved flavor profiles and aromas. Some people also believe that these full-spectrum extracts have greater therapeutic value. This comes from the entourage effect, meaning that the terpenes and cannabinoids interact to enhance each other’s effects.
How HTFSE Is Made
Now that you understand what high terpene full spectrum extract is, you can look at how it is made. The process requires highly specialized equipment, so you should not expect to complete this extraction at home. In addition to the flower you will extract from, the process requires sub-zero temperatures, pressure, and a hydrocarbon solvent with a boiling point at a low temperature.
High-quality Plants Are Necessary
You always want to use high-quality plants to make high terpene full spectrum extract. This contrasts with the extraction processes that focus on a single cannabinoid. The reason is that as a full-spectrum extraction, HTFSE preserves the plant’s natural profile. As such, the cannabinoid and terpene profile must be healthy. Otherwise, you will not get a high-quality finished product. In most cases, the starting material will be premium fresh frozen flowers. Some argue that these fresh frozen flowers have better terpene profiles than dried and cured flowers.
Throughout the primary extraction, you must maintain a low temperature. This helps preserve the volatile compounds in the fresh frozen plant. The primary process involves dewaxing the extraction, which removes compounds that are not valuable, such as fats, lipids, and waxes. The sub-zero temperatures used make the separation easy and fast.
Then the secondary process introduces low heat gradually. This separates the concentrate and the solvent. This is where the solvent having a low boiling point comes in since it must boil but still be cold enough, so the sauce’s valuable therapeutic compounds remain protected.
Other Steps and Variations
At this point in the process, there are some variations in the process.
Some producers will try to use a single extraction to remove all the terpenes and cannabinoids from the plant. Others choose to reintroduce terpenes after the removal, either using synthetic or natural ones. Some even reintroduce the THCA diamonds into the terpene extraction, although this is not widely considered to be a true high terpene full spectrum extract.
In the case of premium extractors, the goal is to create HTFSE diamonds in the full-spectrum concentrate. These diamonds are the THCA molecules in crystalline form, and they come right from the fresh frozen flower. Higher THCA content in these diamonds is directly related to using higher quality plant materials. Higher quality material also makes diamond formation easier. Using live resin also tends to result in easier crystal formation compared to cured resin. This is a direct result of the higher THCA level.
It is also possible for no diamonds to be produced from a harvest. This depends on a range of factors, including cannabinoid profiles and environmental stressors.
Bonus: HTFSE Vs. HCFSE
The main difference between HTFSE and HCFSE comes down to the methods of extraction and separation. High terpene full spectrum extracts tend to have sauce-like or gritty liquid structures. By contrast, HCFSE tends to produce more of a sugar-like consistency. It is sometimes called HCFSE sugar.
There are also the previously mentioned differences in concentration. HTFSE usually has a terpene percentage that is about 50 percent higher than that of HCFSE, typically 13 to 40 percent. By contrast, the THCA concentration of HCFSE is much higher than that of HTFSE, usually around 90 percent.
High terpene full spectrum marijuana extracts are one of two major types of full spectrum extracts, with the other being high cannabinoid full spectrum extracts. To make either of these, you need sub-zero temperatures, pressure, and a hydrocarbon solvent that features a low boiling point, along with a high-quality flower. The process cannot be done at home and typically involves two stages. The final result varies, with some manufacturers extracting all the terpenes and cannabinoids at once and others adding them back in. High terpene full spectrum extract always has high terpene content, typically between 13 and 40 percent.